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One of the most common requests I get is, “We need to create engaging content, but we're just not sure how.”

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The fact is, you can send out all the messages, reports, case studies, white papers, emails, texts, and tweets you want. But if you’re missing this one thing, it will not be easy to get your audience to engage with your content and want to interact with you. This article uncovers the “missing link” with content that attracts an audience. It's the first step before you can engage them to stick around.

The Zaarly Story

Zaarly is a technology company, based in San Francisco, that helps small businesses to sell local home services online. But they also help people to discover a new and better way to find service providers, such as landscapers, interior designers, home organizers, electricians, plumbers, and more.

They aren’t a discount destination, they never charge for leads, and nobody pays for advertising. It’s an invite-only marketplace where every small business is personally hand-selected for quality work and is required to provide superior customer service.

Zaarly is changing the way the economy works. They’re building a marketplace centered on trust and community, creating jobs, and keeping money local.

Prior to their launch in 2011, they described themselves as:


“A proximity-based, real-time, buyer-powered market.”

“But customers just didn’t care,” exclaimed Bo Fishback, the CEO and Co-Founder.1  

What was Zaarly Missing?

Buyer behaviors, technology, communications, and information are all being changed and exchanged at rapid speeds. But one thing remains constant.

You’re marketing to people.

The missing link for engaging their audience, both as a customer and as a business, was this. The connection. Zaarly was missing the connection with their customers and using words they could easily understand.

They needed to tap into their buyer’s thinking and focus on their biggest concerns and deepest desires. In other words, the things that mattered most to them. Only then could Zaarly capture their attention and get them to engage with them.

So, they’ve changed and evolved their value statement into what it is today.


Zaarly is a place to hire home service providers who are proud to be held accountable for their work.”

They also define the word accountability in their vision statement.

Accountability: (noun) a willingness to accept responsibility.

Since the updated their value statements, they’ve expanded into Denver, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Northern Virginia. They’ve also been featured on CNN, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.

Finally, it’s easy for homeowners to pick top-notch service providers who are local, vetted, reliable, trusted, and guaranteed. As a buyer, that matters.

Things “That Matter”

Connecting with things that matter to us in our lives makes us think about our own knowledge and experiences. It makes us more engaged and involved in what we’re reading, doing, and deciding on.

Before you can get anyone interested in your content, simply create a common connection with them.

For instance, as a B2B company, what types of buyers do you want to reach and what buyer behaviors do you want to focus on? Revisit your buyer personas and avatars. And dig deeper ...

Step 1: Your Objectives and Goals

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. 1
    What are your objectives? E.g., awareness, thought leadership, generate sales
  2. 2
    Whom do you want to connect with? Influencers, decision-makers, customers…
  3. 3
    If you want to connect with potential customers, where are they along the buying cycle, and what are they thinking about?

Now take your answers and move to the next step. Here's how you can create a connection with your ideal audience.

Step 2: The Easiest Topic to Connect with Your Audience

The easiest way to connect with your ideal audience and dream customers is to answer their questions, especially the difficult ones. So, compile a list of questions that your audience is asking.

3 ways to find their questions? 

  • Connect directly with your audience and ask them. 
  • Talk to your sales team.
  • Gather support call questions and talk to your support people.
  • Bonus: Monitor social media and and groups you're a part of or host, such as FaceBook or membership Groups.

Once you have a list of questions, decide on the top 5. Then create content that answers these questions based on your objectives in the last section. Be sure to add ideas unique to your company, products , and services.  

Step 3; Places to Answer Questions

Here are 3 places you can answer these questions.

  • A blog
  • A podcast
  • Website

 Bonus: Your Social Media channels. Post them in Facebook Groups. Write an article or post on LinkedIn. Create stories on Instagram to name a few.

This is the best way to create real value because you've identified what their wants and needs are. You can become their go-to expert. This is where the connection starts.

Remember to translate your solutions into values, possibilities, and stories your audience can relate to. It’s this personal connection that grabs their attention and compels them to read, watch, or listen to your content.

You have to make the connection before you can engage them to want more.

Summary

You can send out all the messages, reports, case studies, white papers, emails, texts, and tweets you want. But without this “missing link”, it’s not easy to get your audience to engage with your content and want to interact with you.

The “missing link” is the connection.

Create a common connection to things that matter to others in their personal and professional lives. Once you do, you will see people become more engaged and involved in what they’re reading, doing, and deciding on.

How are you connecting with your ideal audience and creating content that matters?

Credits

1 Chaey, Christina. “Hype Machine.” FastCompany Nov. 2011:76. Print.

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